In Medias Res (IMR)

IMR | The Best Thing About Rereading Books

After watching Mockingjay Part 1 a few months ago, I came to a startling realization: I’ve only read The Hunger Games Trilogy once in its entirety.

Part of this is because I really was not happy with Mockingjay. I don’t even remember what specifically I disliked about the finale (side note: Catching Fire is my favourite), except that I was largely unsatisfied with the end. And even so, I’m surprised that I only read the series once.

And some people may be wondering, what’s the big deal? So you only read a book once? So what?

The “so what” is that I find this story important, and rereading a book for me gives me a second chance to analyze, discover scenes or quotes that i may have glanced over before, and relive the scenes that made me uncomprehendingly emotional. And rereading the Hunger Games has been one enlightening experience.

What happens when I reread a book is that, because I know what’s going to happen  I can savour details that I may have skimmed over in the first reading (a frequent cause of speed reading is the lack of knowledge of the next plot point). One thing that didn’t really click when I first read the book was how snarky Peeta was. My brain had sorted him into the “nice guy” trope because it was more concerned with the action packed plot. But this time around, Peeta was ridiculously charismatic to me, which makes an awful lot of sense because that’s what he’s good at, but I didn’t really see it until this read through.

Also, rereading allows me to re-experience certain scenes. All over again, I got to experience the thrill of the plot twist that is Peeta’s interview, or get teary as Katniss sings to Rue. And who can forget the scene when Katniss finds Peeta hiding by the river?

That’s probably the best thing about rereading: you know you’ll be satisfied because that’s why you picked the book up again—you liked it. So you can just sit back with that book, with no fear for a terrible plot or character development and enjoy the experience of reading. And there’s a certain comfort in that.

There’s a comfort in knowing that Luke will be redeemed as a hero by the end of PJO. There’s comfort in the fact that Ella will be free from her obedience curse, or that Jonas is going to be free of his Community and get married and have kids. Heck, there’s even comfort in knowing that Dumbledore, Dobby, and Snape are going to die (despite however odd that may seem) because you know it’s coming, and however much its still going to hurt, you still know it’s coming.

But what about you guys? Why do you reread books and what are your favourite books to reread? Let me know in comments!

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12 thoughts on “IMR | The Best Thing About Rereading Books

  1. Ha ha so true! I love re-reading books, it’s always fun to go back to books I know I’ve enjoyed. ❤ And sometimes, for really good books, the re-reading experience becomes just like when I've read the book for the first time. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely! Especially if it’s been a long time since you last read the book, so you know you liked it, but you don’t really remember why, so you get to re-experience it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this post a lot, and I think you’re right about rereading, but I didn’t know what was going to happen at the end of the Percy Jackson or The Giver series, so I kind of wish you’d been less explicit with that last paragraph. On the other hand, I get that those books have been out a long time, and it would be hard to make that point without spoiling something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AGH! I’m so sorry I spoiled you! I did try to pick books that were well beyond their publishing date, (well, maybe except for Son, that was only a few years ago…) I’ll make note of that. I’m glad you liked the post!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The more I think about it, the more I’m actually glad that you spoiled Son a little for me, because what you said is making me want to read it. I’ve been putting it off even though I own it because the end of Messenger annoyed me a lot.

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    3. I can’t guarantee the ending of Son will be much better if you didn’t like the ending of Messenger, but by all means give it a try!

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  3. Hey, I so totally agree with you! I’m also rereading my favourite- the Harry Potter series, and it only gets more awesome as I revisit Privet Drive, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, Grimmauld Place, The Burrow, etc! It is eternal bliss. It is alike a tour back to your Horcrux- to check if it is okay and if you remember the way to it well.

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  4. I LOVE re-reading books. It’s never been a problem for me and the point where you know you’ve been spoiled doesn’t work for me because I still feel and react the same. I’ve read Mockingjay about 4 times. I agree the first time was ‘eh’, the second was like ‘it was okay’ and then after reading the thrice time, I LOVED it. I BAWLED at the end of it, compared to my emotionless state the first time I read it.
    GREAT discussion, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping that Mockingjay grows on me this time around. I feel so strongly that the story is important, but it’s so strange that I’m apathetic to the ending. Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally agree with you!! The thing is that I always thought of myself as a person who doesn’t re read books. But then this year, since I am recording the names of all the books I have read so far, what surprised me the most was the ONE FOURTH of the books were ones I had re read. And I found that crazy!! But then it hit me why. Whenever I haven’t read a book in a long time (for me, a week) then I really don’t feel like starting a new book or finishing the one I had started. What I do, without even knowing I’m doing it, is that I just pick a random book I have already read and read it again. It always works for me, and that’s what I do when I just don’t feel like starting a new book.
    I loved this post (i’m sorry if I rambled too much) and it was very relatable and true!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never be afraid to ramble here! (There’s a reason why the blog’s called “Short Story Long.”) I’m surprised by how much I reread too (it’s so easy to tell because those books are worn to death). That’s a handy trick for reading slumps. I’ll remember it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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